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11/26/2012 6:01:00 AM
Animal sanctuary, Mohave County at odds again
Allison missed deadline to get permit for sanctuary
Hillarie Allison and friend.
Hillarie Allison and friend.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

Hillarie Allison, the owner of Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation, is once again refusing to bring her animal sanctuary into compliance with county ordinances.

She and the Mohave County Civil Attorney's Office have been battling over getting the proper health and zoning use permits for the animal sanctuary for more than two years.

The most recent legal salvo came on Oct. 31, when Allison filed for an exception in court to the county's requirement that she install sand in all of RUFFF's kennels. The request came one day before a Nov. 1 court-ordered deadline that the animal sanctuary be in compliance with all of the county's kennel ordinances.

The county filed for a temporary injunction against RUFFF in March 2010 in order to force Allison into compliance with the county's kennel ordinances. It required her to get a valid zoning use permit for a kennel and a health permit.

"Now, she's presented an affidavit from someone who hasn't even physically visited the facility that sand is bad for the dogs," said Dolores Milkie, a civil attorney for Mohave County. "We made an allowance for her to use sand. She's the only sanctuary in the county who is not in compliance. All we are trying to do is get her to comply with the law."

In order to get the permits, Allison had to make several changes, including reducing the number of animals on the property, ensuring every animal had access to an enclosure so they could get out of inclement weather, providing plenty of fresh water and food for each animal and socialization time for each animal, making sure that each animal can be matched with its medical records, securing each run so animals can't get out and replacing the natural soil floor of the kennels with sand.

After working with Allison for more than a year, the county filed in court for a permanent injunction that would have closed RUFFF in October 2011.

Today, Allison has met all of the county's requirements except one - she still doesn't have a health permit.

The reason she hasn't gotten the permit is because the county and Allison disagree on what materials should be used for flooring in a dog kennel.

Floor dispute

Allison favors the natural soil of Golden Valley.

County officials say the ordinances require a "durable material", such as concrete, that can be easily sanitized, but agreed to allow Allison to use sand.

"What's more durable than the natural soil?" Allison asked.

She said she never agreed to use sand for her kennels. She was going to try the sand and sent samples of material to the health department to get an idea of what they wanted. But when she contacted her veterinarians again about the situation, they recommended against using sand because it can cause breathing and eating problems for animals.

"I'm not going to do something that's unhealthy for the animals." Allison said.

The county has countered Alison's argument in court, saying that sand is easier to clean and replace than dirt.

If the court closes RUFFF, Milkie said the county would not destroy all of the animals on the property.

Every adoptable animal would be put up for adoption, she said. Sick animals that needed to be treated would be treated and those that needed to be euthanized would be euthanized.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Rachel T.

We the people voted Nov. 6, 2012 and defeated Prop. 401 Article V, Flooring B. where as stated: "Dirt Flooring is not allowed!" We defeated this Prop 401 with our NO votes 32,516 - 55.18%? Why are you doing this to RUFFF and not allowing "DIRT" but you want "Sand"...did we the people not defeat this Prop. 401? So therefore "DIRT Flooring is allowed!" Leave RUFFF alone! All these phamplets printed and mailed out at Mohave County Tax Payers expense..both English and Spanish? My sofa is durable material...leather!

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: dv s

Keep it up have more support out here...good work,,,,I would not use sand either...the dogs can get it in their gut numerous ways, and very painful..similiar to sand colic in horses...I wouldn't do it either...but agree with the concrete...dirt just gets worse and worse with so many animals on it...and the concrete is cleanable...

I do not blame you for finally putting on the brakes....for some unknown reason the BOS wants to keep hasseling it for the animals...they/we need you....good luck...

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: John Schneider

Shot her down. Two years is long enough to get it together.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

How long before someone figures out that Milkie has cost the county thousands of dollars with her personal hatred for RUFF. Time to send her down the road with Lil Ronnie walker.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Frederick Williams

Hang in there Hillarie and try to wait for the next board. They may be more sympathetic and have more common sense. I understand the Health Dep't won't give her a permit until she gets one from the County and the County won't give her one until she gets one from the Health Dep't. Reminds me of a time in Cleveland, O when I tried to get a job with a truck line. Couldn't have the job without belonging to the Teamsters Union and I couldn't join the Teamsters without having the job.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Cynthia Hubbard

Instead of the court complain about this lady trying to keep this animals safe and not killing them why do the courts help her out. No because that what they do best complaining about what the another person is doing. This lady is trying to keep this dogs or cats from being killed. Animals have the right to live too. Just because the owners don't care I think it would be the owners to pay to keep the shelter up. Yea leave her alone

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: This is not a Win Win for the Animals

Yes, Hillarie has not complied with the guidelines for years, we all know this. However it appears she's trying. Now it's to the point of Sand? Dirt? Durable Material? Who's definition is it?? So so Sad because if the County has it's way then it's ultimately the Animals who Suffer. Oh that's right that's how the County enforces it's Power & just Euthanizes the Animals to solve the Problem. Kinda like the way the Humane Society here in town solves the problem of all the Animals that come thru their doors. This does not seem like a Win Win for the Animals at all.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Bubba Smith

Just what I have saying for months. Mohave County is the refuge for all the "save all the animals" people who want to ignore any ordinance or regulation. The vote against the reasonable ordinance was a big mistake.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Health Is Precious

Dogs trotting around in sand will pick up sand in their foot pads. Dogs, by nature, lick their feet. Ingesting sand could be harmful to the intestinal tract of any mammal, while sand dust can cause irritation in breathing (like when pouring cat litter into a catbox). Hillarie's vetenarian recommended against using sand. Although I'm also tired of this back-and-forth between her and the County, I stand up for her battle to TRULY preserve the health of the dogs in her care. The County should delete sand as a requirement as well.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Come On! Really??

She is never going to comply. If she really was concerned with the sand and the animals health, she could have an alternate material such as concrete as first suggested. Then again, she will probably turn around and complain the concrete is also hazardeous to the animals. The county should just shut her down already, especially if she isn't being reasonable. This is just silly. All the other kennels in this county are following the same guidelines and rules, why can't she?

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Old Desert Woman

Why are we wasting time and money on this fight? Let the woman keep and care for the animals she has and don't allow her to have any more until she complies with what is required. Let her be grandfathered in with what is now. Can't we use some reason here? Maybe she can gradually find some kind of suitable durable surface to use and complete that slowly while maintaining the health of the animals she has. This is silly, the rule is supposed to be for the animals health and if they are not being damaged why continue?

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Good Grief

Allison is never going to comply, why keep messing with her. It's a waste of time & money.
Everybody else has to follow the rules but she thinks she above the law & is exempt. If all the the other rescues are in compliance, she needs to be also if she is going to stay in business.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Kingman Lifer

What is this if you do not agree with the law you do not have to obey the law? This woman has ignored the law for two years and now she just does what she wants? Why does the county just pussy foot around with this woman? Shut her down she has pulled every trick in the book and county plays along. What does the county attorney office do try to keep law breakers out of jail. This woman is just laughing at Mohave County. Shut her down!

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: no way

Will this ever end?

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